[Explore and create : BYOD]
Digital tote resources
Purpose & objective
The purpose of the highly successful Scalable Game Design curriculum (http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu) is to get computer science into public schools by motivating and educating all students to learn about computer science and STEM topics through game design starting at the middle school level. Funded by the National Science Foundation a strategy has been developed and evaluated to train teachers in a short amount of time to teach computational thinking to students through game and simulation design in a way that broadens participation across gender and ethnicities. Over 80% of schools that have started Scalable Game Design advance beyond the basic training to sophisticated game and simulation projects.
Participants learn to:
The tool used, AgentCubes online, is a revolutionary web-based 3D computational thinking tool created by the original pioneers of drag and drop programming at the University of Colorado. AgentCubes goes beyond drag and drop programming by harnessing the power of the computer to support the creation of working programs (conversational programming). The Inflatable-Icon technology built into AgentCubes allows end-users with no 3D authoring background to create their own 3D shapes. Games built can run on mobile devices including smart phones. AgentCubes online includes sophisticated 2D/3D scientific visualization and interfaces to 3rd party tools such as spreadsheets to support STEM activities (e.g., NGSS).
• Introduction to the Scalable Game Design project: moving beyond the perception that “programming is hard and boring” (10 minutes).
° Starting the 3D Frogger game design activity: participants will have created and programmed a Frog that can cross a highway. Participants receive a link to their project including instructions to finish game after the workshop (40 minutes).
• Presentation of resources to teach more complex games and STEM simulations (10 minutes).
Scalable Game Design including computational thinking tools employed (AgentSheets/AgentCubes) has been supported with ~$20M by the National Science Foundation, Google, the National Institutes of Health and many other agencies in the US, Brazil, Switzerland and Mexico.
Project site with references: http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu
Evidence of relevance:
- academic publications, e.g., Repenning, A., Webb, D. C., Koh, K. H., Nickerson H., Miller, S. B., Brand, C., et al., "Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation," Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), vol. 15, pp. 1-31, 2015.http://sgd.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/images/4/41/TOCE_2015_Repenning.pdf (more publications: http://sgd.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/Publications)
- popular press, e.g., WIRED: http://www.wired.com/2013/09/ap_code/
- videos, e.g., high production video made by Google as part of the 2015 Google RISE program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4&v=wStwKAVqSbY (more videos: http://sgd.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/Videos)
- TV, e.g. FOX31: http://kdvr.com/2013/12/10/kids-learn-to-make-apps-video-games-quickly-with-hour-of-code-activities/
AgentSheets research showcased in government reports, e.g., Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge. A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation, June 2008.